The term “skeptic” seems to be thrown around as if it has negative connotations sometimes. A person who is a skeptic is just someone who remains doubtful until they are provided with enough evidence to form an opinion. And even then, the opinion is not set in stone – it changes over time, when more information is supplied. That is a good thing.
The negativity from the term “skeptic” usually comes from closed-minded individuals claiming that they are skeptic (probably to look more credible), when in fact they are far from it. In the psionic community, the term “skeptic” sometimes describes someone who doesn’t believe in psionics, or a subset of psionics. It’s time to throw all those negative feelings away and actually embrace being skeptic.
The first step in becoming a good skeptic is to realize where information comes from. Information comes from people. Humans. Any fact that you’ve read is traced back to one human or another. What is important to notice is that humans are not perfect *gasp* . Therefore, all information you’re provided with should have SOME doubt attached to it. Even things that trace back to your personal experiences should have doubt attached – your senses are capable of fooling you.
Does that mean that all information should just be tossed out the window? Of course not. Humans have faults, but we’re pretty intelligent too.
The problem I notice the most isn’t that people doubt too much, it’s that they are too gullible. I realize that all these crazy psychic things are far-fetched to an outsider, but you don’t have to throw out logic and reasoning to become a psion (in fact, you shouldn’t throw it out). If someone claims that they can do something, don’t immediately trust them. Don’t immediately think they’re nuts, either. Ask them to provide reasonable proof. Think to yourself: “Why should I trust them? Why should I distrust them?” In that same regard, why should you trust me? Why should you distrust me? Ask questions, figure things out; doubt is a good thing.
The most common “mistake” I see is that a newbie will be so desperate for help that they will take advice and trust anyone who is willing to listen to them. If you are a newbie, please do not fall into that trap. Think, be logical, make good decisions. If the person giving you advice has no idea what they’re doing, they can actually make it harder for you to learn something (and possibly hurt you).
In short: just because psionics is weird doesn’t mean you should stop using your brain to think. Questions are good, doubt is good, logic is good. Use it.
-Sean (aka Peebrain)